My Summer + Orientation 2013!

Hello Everyone!

Even though I already made my first post of the year, I wanted to talk a little bit about my summer!

From early May to mid July, not much happened. I was at home in Iowa, where I watched sheep play behind my house and way too many shows on Netflix. But seriously, that’s about all I did.

In mid July, I started work in a corn field. If you didn’t already know, the state of Iowa was pretty much made for farming. With the exception of the occasional hill, Iowa is very flat and has fertile soil. Size wise, it ranks 26th out of the 50 states, but only has a population of about three million people. So, if you add it all up, great land + few people = lots of farms and fields!

The farms in Iowa are used for several things. Any corn, pork, chicken, eggs, beef, or dairy you get from a grocery store (or McDonalds!) may have come from a farm in Iowa. Along with growing our nation’s food, a lot of the fields, including the one I worked in, are owned by companies that test crops.

The company I worked for tests genetically modified corn. I was involved with the growing process, which mostly means that I helped to cross-pollinate, or sib, the corn. This involved putting bags on the corn tassels, collecting the pollen, and dumping it on the growing shoots of corn. I did this work for about a month, until it was time for me to return to Hope for…


If I seem a little excited about orientation, it’s because it was one of the best experiences I’ve had at Hope so far, and definitely one of the best experiences in my life overall. My position on the orientation staff was an assistant director (AD). There were 23 of us, and our main goals were to:

1. Help Kian and Claire, the orientation directors, with any finishing touches.

2. Train the Orientation Assistants (OAs) to lead their group of new students.

3. Learn and perform an awesome dance for the new students!

Along with these responsibilities, I also had some work to do for the siblings program with two other ADs, Jess and Hannah. Over the summer, we solidified the plans for the younger siblings and older siblings programs, and on the Saturday of orientation weekend, were completely in charge of the programs.

I only knew a few of the other ADs before starting Orientation, but by the end, I felt like I had 22 new best friends. We couldn’t help but bond with each other; after all, we were together from 8:30 AM-11:00 PM every day for a week and a half! We stuffed the new student welcome bags and family registration packets, made folders for the OAs, and familiarized ourselves with all things Orientation.

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We worked hard, but we also played hard! We took a trip to Skyzone, a local trampoline gym, went to the beach, learned a fun dance (shout out to Audrey and Hannah for choreographing!), went a little crazy with Snapchat, memorized lines together for the skits Orange and Blue 4 You and H.O.P.E., and became a little family in the process. I would do it all over again with this group in a heartbeat if I ever got chance.

If you ever get the opportunity to be a part of the orientation program, I would highly encourage you to take it! It’s awesome and I know you’ll have a blast!

That’s all from me! Tweet me or comment below if you have any thoughts!


PS – If you remember this little post at the end of the year, you might recall that I said that I was planning to go to Lollapalooza. Long story short, I sold my ticket a week before the show and didn’t end up going. Sad, I know.

Published by Rachael Kabagabu

Hi everyone! My name is Rachael Kabagabu. I am a junior studying secondary education with a major in French and minor in biology. I am currently involved in Nykerk, Hope College Student Ambassadors, WTHS (Hope radio station), and the Kappa Beta Phi Sorority. My previous activities include Orientation, leading a spring break immersion trip, the Black Student Union, and orchestra. Feel free to message me if you have any questions. Go Hope!

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